Friends, family seeking help for injured Minneapolis protester

Soren Stevenson was hurt in a confrontation with police.

A man who was seriously wounded during a George Floyd protest in Minneapolis is getting some much-needed help — a lot of it — with his mounting hospital bills. 

Last weekend, Soren Stevenson was participating in a protest when police officers moved in to disrupt the gathering. 

According to a GoFundMe page set up on his behalf, Stevenson "stood at the front of the protest and was shot (unprovoked) in the left eye with a rubber bullet."

He sustained "irreversible harm to the eye and extensive damage to the surrounding bone structures," the page says.

His brother, Ryan Stevenson, made a video detailing the "horrible act of violence" and urging donations not only the fundraiser, but also Black Lives Matter and the NAACP:

Launched this week, the GoFundMe is seeking $100,000 to help Stevenson with his medical expenses. As of this writing, it's garnered over $52,000, with 957 donors chipping in. 

In an interview with WCCO, Stevenson and two fellow protesters said their demonstration was peaceful, and that police attacked and started firing without warning. 

It's not clear which of the departments was policing the protest when Stevenson was shot.

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Stevenson, a recent graduate of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, told the station his injuries "will only galvanize his passions for justice in policing, housing and healthcare."

National George Floyd protests have brought with them widespread reports of injured demonstrators. This has led to serious discussion about the dangers of so-called rubber bullets, with Fast Company reporting that the rounds actually consist of metal jacketed in rubber or plastic. 

Since their introduction in the 1970s, the website notes, such weapons have caused a number of deaths as well as "permanent disabilities or deformities."

Minneapolis Police Department meanwhile is the subject of a lawsuit over the drive-by pepper-spraying of protesters in downtown Minneapolis.

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